StuGs! The original flat Panzer! My first foray into late war German armour was the 2nd Kompanie StuG battery of Kampgruppe Meyer from Earth and Steel, so it made sense that, with a new D-Day book, it would be on my list of armies to try.
Kampgruppe Meyer was the mobile reserve for the 352nd division and consisted of the 915th regiment of the 352nd and all ten of the 352nd Panzerjäger Abteilung’s StuGs (plus some Marder IIIs which were detached early on D-day). It was parked near Bayeux on D-1 but spent the early morning navigating eastwards along narrow roads to counter reports of US Paratroops landing south of Carentan. There were no paratroops and, believing Omaha beach had been contained, the Kampgruppe was then directed back to Bayeux to address the advance of the British off Gold Beach. Force to swing south by naval fire and harassed by fighter bombers the unit was attacked in its assembly area by the very force it had been sent to counter-attack.
By the end of the Normandy campaign, only two of the ten StuG were operational.
The StuG list has seen some changes since its v2 incarnation though. Now the list is designed to reflect the Fallschirmjaeger’s own battery, rather than the 2’s. Thankfully, it’s still pretty much the same old force, just braver.
352nd Panzerjäger Abteilung, 2nd Kompanie
The StuG company has two HQ options, a two-tank platoon like the other Panzers and a single tank platoon. The latter matches the old list so that goes in my list, even if a little sub-optimal.
The formation has up to three platoons of StuG. There’s not a lot new to say about the StuG; it’s well armoured, well gunned and has decent mobility. In v4 its taken a small blow to its ability to assault or counterattack (the latter somewhat mitigated by being boosted to 4+ thanks to being Fearless like all StuGs in v4 seem to be), but that only reflects the limitation of its turretless design and does little to hinder it as an anti-tank or anti-gun platform.
The second platoon can also be a StuH platoon. The StuH took a small knock in the transition from v3 to v4, losing a pip of rate of fire. A small change, but one that made it less attractive than its previous incarnation. D-Day Germans though gives it a new ability – the ability to bombard. This makes for a very versatile platoon; still able to drive up and blast anti-tank guns at close range with a “Brutal” HE shell, or duke it out with medium tanks at range thanks to its HEAT shell, but also now drop a bombardment on an area target with a very useful firepower 3+. Like the StuG, the platoon can field two to four tanks.
All of this is great, but no use to me as 352’s StuG battery was purely the 7.5cm version. Instead, I opt for three platoons of three StuG to mirror the organisation of a StuG battery.
All of that comes to 57pts.
915th Infanterie Regiment, 1st Kompanie
The formation also has an infantry slot, reflecting the close cooperation of the infantry and artillery arms. This can be a Fallschirmjaeger platoon or a beach defender platoon. The beach defender platoon is the closest in form to the two Fusilier platoon slots of the old force, but lacks the Confident Veteran stats of the old 352nd force, nor can you apply the 352nd Division’s command card as it’s a formation title. What we can do is use the Tank Riders card to make the platoon act as escorts for the tank by allowing them to shoot whilst tank riding and dismount in combat. Even a full platoon is relatively cheap, especially if we skip the HMG and anti-tank rockets.
However, I decided instead to take a small Beach Defence Company of one HQ with PanzerFaust and two full strength MG platoons, combined with the 352nds “Eastern Front” card to bolster their rally and assault stats. This gives me the two infantry platoons of old, all for a mere 19pts.
The old force used to have access to a 3.7cm AA platoon mounted ported on trucks. Sadly that has gone but we can partly replicate it with the 2cm self-propelled AA.
The force also had support from 105mm artillery and Luftwaffe AA guns. The former is simple to acquire as a standard 105mm battery, downgraded using the “275th ID 10.5cm Howitzer card”.
The latter can be purchased as a standard Flak 88 platoon, then we use the 8.8cm Flak Assault card to downgrade the stats to match the rest of 352nd and the ones suitable for 352nd Panzerjäger Abteilung.
I take a full four-gun battery of 105mm and a four-gun battery of FlaK 36 88mm to mirror the old battery.
That brings us to 100pts.
Its, perhaps, not a force that will win tournaments – though ten fearless StuG is nothing to sneeze at – but it does provide us with a characterful force to take on historical allied D-Day forces such as US air landing (The erroneous paratroop landings reported south of Carentan that Meyer initially responded to) and UK beach landing (50th Division off Gold Beach that blunted Meyer’s counter-attack) forces.